This time of year is "busy" for almost everyone, I know, but we have the added benefit of birthdays and our anniversary in between all of the holiday fun! So by now, we've run through Maestro's birthday, our anniversary/Thanksgiving (they are often within a day or two of one another), and Buttercup's birthday last week - this week is Bruiser's birthday. Our boy turns seven and is already so very excited! His excitement is infectious. He has asked about having a "pre-birthday" dinner, a birthday party with his friends, and (several) "after-birthday" get-togethers.
Weeeelllll... we can't (won't) make quite that much happen for him, but what he really wants is to feel special for a day. I am one of six myself and can sympathize with him somewhat. When you're part of such a large family, it can start to feel like you're a little left out. As a parent, it is easy to feel like you're letting your kids down in some way - whether you have one or seven or an even dozen. Bruiser struggles with feeling like the "little" kid but wanting to be in the "big kid" club. It's a struggle we've faced with each of our boys as they've moved up through the years and I know that Bruiser will move past it successfully in time. Maybe even this year? Ah, I can hope.
In the past year, our boy has had the great experience of being the "oldest" when Maestro and Smeagol went out to visit the grandparents this summer. Boy did he take the bull by the horns! He was so helpful with the new baby in the house, a great role model for his younger sister... he really put in the effort to learn how to do his chores and do them well - how to make his bed, pick up his toys, take his laundry down to the sorters. He really grew up a lot in that month.
As you move through your upcoming seventh year, I hope that you'll continue to see the value in taking on that mantle of responsibility, that you keep finding ways to love your brothers and sister. I have watched you reach milestone after milestone - tying your shoes, learning to read, getting excited about and involved in your school work and I want that for you.
I look forward to hearing the new songs you'll learn on the piano. I look forward to getting to hear your jokes, your stories and seeing your pictures and drawings. You are an awesome kid. It is absolutely my privilege to be your mother - to be the one God picked to raise you and guide you, to help you grow into the man you will one day be. It is a blessing to get to watch you soar.
What advice do I have for a seven-year-old? Hmmm... Learn to watch your temper more - "Bruiser" is just a nickname that I use on here, NOT necessarily what you're meant to become! (Yikes!) You are strong, remember that your strength needs to be used to protect those who are not as strong as you. Your sister absolutely follows you, copies you, looks up to you. Oh how she looks up to you! She even tries to give a "thumbs up" when you do. So whenever you're tempted to misbehave, remember that you have a duty to her (and one day to Mr. Magoo.) Your older brothers have a similar duty to you.
Mentoring and leading are part of serving one another, part of loving one another.
I hope that when I mess up, you'll still forgive me, still trust me. I hope that when your brothers mess up and apologize and ask you for forgiveness that you'll truly let go of the "issue," whatever the issue is. That is my hope for you as we move through 2012.
Always remember how much you are loved.